This month's star is Andreas Van Assche
Every month we will introduce you to a colleague. This month's star is Andreas Van Assche. He joined Signpost in October 2014 and is now a Solutions Architect for Academic Software.
What exactly do you do at Signpost?
Andreas: "As a Solutions Architect for Academic Software I assist our commercial colleagues with technical deep-dive sessions, demonstrations and analysis of any requirements or issues of prospects and clients. Can our current portfolio of services and products solve the issues a school is facing during digital transformation? Could an update or addition provide a better solution for the general userbase? In some cases something entirely new needs to be created and then we develop and set up a proof of concept. The variety, and often complete unknown, is what really draws me in. Every day there is a new challenge.
I know I look like the classic silent IT guy but traveling outside Belgium is not uncommon. Exploring new environments and cultures is exciting and something I really look forward to. I also get to work with a lot of great colleagues with completely different areas of expertise and get to learn something new every day. To stay relevant and innovate I also spend time looking into new technologies that are emerging or viable for education. Who knows, it could be the next great addition to the Academic Software portfolio."
What does your day look like?
Andreas: "Most days start with getting my ‘blonde madness’ out the door and to school in time. And then? It depends. One day we’re visiting different universities to demonstrate and discuss our solutions for their roadblocks. On other days, I focus on a specific problem and gnaw that bone until it’s fixed. Some days are purely spent in transit and others with meeting a lot of colleagues at the office. Everyone is always really busy but still has the time for a laugh. I guess you could summarize my typical day as a great balance of technical challenges and enriching social interactions."
How did you end up working at Signpost?
Andreas: "In the summer of 2014 I had surgery for severe sleep apnoea, which had been hampering my education for years. I decided to take a break from higher education for a year and recover, so I started looking for something to do. The first thing I found was a split job as hardware technician and software helpdesk employee for Signpost in Kortrijk. I spent years building computers and dabbled in assembly so I figured I could be the man for the job. Besides, I lived in Ghent but would be working in my birthplace closer to my family.
After mailing Sophie with my CV, I was offered an interview. To which I arrived late … I was at the wrong building. Shortly after the interview I was called by Sophie who informed me that I got the job and asked how soon I could get started. In short, the first job I applied for and the first job interview of my life. Talk about being in the right place at (a little over) the right time! The initial plan? To work for a year and then go back to studying. Needless to say I’m still here!"
What are your interests besides work?
Andreas: "A wide range of things to be honest. I am currently remodelling the house, so a lot of interesting projects to look forward to there. I’m also studying for a bachelor’s degree in AI through distance learning, and yes this means I also use Academic Software as a student! If there is some time left, I might muck about with game development or personal projects. I also play cello and guitar and don’t mind getting my hands dirty to maintain our car and motorbike."